Sensors deployed at the community scale can be used to inform collectives on specific issues of interest as the sensors become an extension of the collective's knowledge. They can inform decisions and behaviors that transform the natural and built environment in which the subjects are immersed. Ocean Logger is an exploration, developed during the Ocean IoT class, of ways in which we can give fishing communities capabilities for actively and opportunistically monitoring the waters where they fish without interrupting or negatively impacting their activities.
The project builds on ideas coming from New Zealand's famous MOANA project. It expands the idea of using technological enhancements to improve the sustainability of industrial fishing vessels into the realm of small community-owned boats in coastal fishing villages. It does so through low-cost and open-source sensors. Communities using these sensor nodes could gather information and change their collective behaviors according to the information they receive from the sensors. These community feedback loops can lead to more efficient and productive economic activities while keeping environmental degradation at a minimum.
When implemented at scale, the system could potentially be used to inform fishing communities about the likelihood that a specific fish species will inhabit certain areas. In the case that the community has already fished too many individuals from a species, they might choose to look for a fishing spot that is less likely to be populated by that species in order to give the species' population time to regenerate. This can help to avoid over-fishing and coral reef degradation while helping fishers maximize their efforts economically.